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Creative actors and historical–cultural assets in urban regions.


This paper examines whether the distribution of creative actors (firms and employees) among Dutch urban agglomerations is related to historically shaped culture heritage assets (cultural amenities and historical monuments). The concept of a creative–cultural complex is introduced to explore the synergy between urban amenities with a high cultural heritage value and their magnet function for firms and people. The paper offers a concise overview of the creativity–cultural heritage nexus, provides an operational framing of the research, and describes briefly the relative growth of the creative sector in urban labour market regions in the Netherlands. It addresses the spatial–economic profile of creative actors in four large urban agglomerations (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht), which have a wealth of cultural assets. The findings show a concentration trend of creative actors in these agglomerations. We then test the general proposition that differences in these spatial concentration patterns are inter alia related to differences in the local presence of cultural amenities and historical monuments in Dutch municipalities, combined with other moderator variables (urban size and agglomeration advantages). We develop a conceptual model and employ a regression analysis to test a correlation between creative actors and historical–cultural amenities at a local level. The paper concludes that local historical–cultural heritage may function as a pull factor that is positively correlated with the local creative economy. This leads to important policy lessons on creative–cultural complexes.


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